Finding the Balance of Love and Freedom in Jane Eyre Essay

Finding the Balance of Love and Freedom in Jane Eyre Essay

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Similar to many of the great feministic novels of its time, Jane Eyre purely emerges as a story focused on the quest for love. The novel’s protagonist, Jane, searches not only for the romantic side of love, but ultimately for a sense of self-worth and independence. Set in the overlapping times of the Victorian and Gothic periods, the novel touches upon both women’s supposed rights, and their inner struggle for liberty. Orphaned at an early age, Jane was born into a modest lifestyle, without any major parent roles to guide her through life’s obstacles. Instead, she spent much of her adolescent years locked in imaginary chains, serving those around her but never enjoying the many decadences life has to offer. It is not until Jane becomes a governess that many minute privileges become available to her and offer Jane a glance at what life could have been. It is on her quest for redemption and discovery that she truly is liberated. Throughout Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel Jane Eyre, the story’s protagonist Jane, struggles to achieve the balance of both autonomy and love, without sacrificing herself in the process.
Although written during both the Victorian and Gothic time period, Jane Eyre draws upon many revolutionary influences that ultimately enabled it to become one of the most successful books of all time. Jane Eyre is merely a hybrid of a Victorian and Gothic novel, infusing a share of dark allusions with overzealous romanticism. The primitive cultures of the Victorian period reflect high ethical standards, an extreme respect for family life, and devotional qualities to God, all in which the novel portrays. Yet, to merely label Jane Eyre as a Victorian novel would be misleading. While the characteristics of a Gothic no...


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...ival depends on it. Jane often finds, “Human beings must love something” (Bronte 36). Bronte makes it clear that above all, Jane has this compelling factor inside her that needs to be loved.
Moseley goes on to say, “Liberty and love are in some way at war in the lives of all of us.” It is not until Jane reaches personal liberation, that she is capable of loving someone else to a full extent. Throughout Jane Eyre Jane must learn how to gain love without sacrificing herself in the process. Orphaned at an early age, Jane becomes used to a lackluster lifestyle without any true value. It is not until she finds love and comfort in her friends at Lowood that her life begins to turn around. Upon meeting Rochester, Jane’s life was only as plain as she made it. She untwines in a world wind romance, ultimately finding the love she craved without losing her self-value.

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